Democrats on Senate Judiciary Committee Call for Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation to Be Postponed

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) speaks during a press conference at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco on July 7, 2017 in San Francisco, California. Sen. Feinstein toured UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
JOEL B. POLLAK

The Democratic Party members on the Senate Judiciary Committee called Friday for the Sep. 4 confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be postponed in the wake of the guilty plea of President Donald Trump’s former lawyer.

“BREAKING: Judiciary Committee Democrats have requested Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing be postponed,” Feinstein tweeted in the style of a news agency.

She later released a letter from the committee’s Democrats to committee chair Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA): “Given the possibility of criminal wrongdoing by the president, doubts that Judge Kavanaugh believes a president can even be investigated, and the unprecedented lack of transparency, we should not move forward with hearings.”

Democrats have no power to postpone the confirmation process, as Republicans have the majority on the committee and in the Senate as a whole. The filibuster was removed for Supreme Court justices, expanding a precedent set in 2013 by former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) when Democrats controlled the upper chamber.
Individual Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have been calling for the confirmation process to be postponed ever since Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations on Tuesday, and attempted to implicate Trump in the latter.

Earlier this month, Feinstein and fellow Democrats complained that Republicans were rushing the Kavanaugh confirmation: “It’s clear that Republicans want to speed this nomination through before we know who Brett Kavanaugh is,” they said in a statement. Republicans countered that Democrats were trying to drag the nomination out through unreasonable document requests and procedural delays.

Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) countered on Friday in a press release to announce the release of over 25,000 pages of documents from Kavanaugh’s service in the White House of President George W. Bush, bringing the total number of pages released to over 200,000, an apparent new record. “Public material from Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s executive branch legal service now exceeds that of any previous Supreme Court nominee,” a statement from his office said.

Feinstein faces a re-election challenge this year from fellow State Sen. Kevin de Léon (D-Los Angeles), who has been running as a “progressive” left-wing alternative to the incumbent. Earlier this month, he said that Feinstein should threaten to shut the Senate down to stop the Kavanaugh nomination from proceeding.

Democrats fret that Kavanaugh’s confirmation to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy would create a stable 5-4 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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